Representing Radford University's Clinical Simulation Center, a team of six presented SimTheater, a series of acts designed to immerse nursing professionals in a variety of simulation experiences, at the recent International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) Conference in Las Vegas.
RU's clinical simulation team took their standardized patients and simulation performances from the banks of the New River to "The Strip" where they shared the nursing training modules they have developed with over more than 100 conference guests as one of 11 pre-conference sessions at the four-day international conference.
"We fielded a lot of questions and shared feedback on how to mirror our program and processes in developing a standardized patient program," said Cindy Cunningham, director of the RU Clinical Simulation Centers. The INACSL promotes research and disseminates evidence-based practice standards for clinical simulation methodologies and learning environments and its 12th annual conference drew more than 1,000 international attendees.
A standardized patient (SP) is an individual who is trained to act as a real patient in order to simulate a set of symptoms or problems. Two SP's were part of the RU Clinical Simulation Center team – Bo Keister and Sue Thacker. They acted as a family member to the simulation lab's pediatric manikin, as a mental health patient during an intake assessment and as a geriatric patient during a home visit in the team's SimTheater performance.
Joining Cunningham, Keister and Thacker at the INACSL were CSC faculty members Lisa Foote, Christina Keller, Margaret Mullins and Millie Sowder. They are part of the team who write and program CSC simulation packages and train nursing professionals, students or faculty with them. The CSC is a part of the Waldron College of Health and Human Services' School of Nursing.
During their three-hour INASCL session, the RU CSC team described the process for SP case development, implementation and evaluation and demonstrated how SPs can be incorporated into simulation programs. SimTheater portrayed with enhanced realism how behavioral issues and affective responses are vital to the learning experience in simulation experiences, said Cunningham. She added that SP student encounters can allow student involvement from undergraduate to advanced practice training in areas like mental health intake exams, home-health geriatric visits, assessment check-offs and family member interactions by incorporating the human non-verbal and behavioral elements that are difficult to elicit with manikin-only simulation.
RU's Clinical Simulation Centers (CSC) is a regional training and assessment facility that uses simulation technologies to provide advanced nursing education and hands-on learning experience in a safe and realistic environment. The RU CSC has provided simulation training and practice to more than 1200 students and 80 faculty members from RU's Radford and Roanoke campuses, the Jefferson College of Health Sciences and the New River, Patrick Henry, Virginia Western and Wytheville Community Colleges.
Learn more about Radford University at www.radford.edu.